Voted Most Likely Blogger Tag

The super awesome Abigail Harder tagged me for this, and it looked like so much fun, I couldn’t resist. 😉 Thanks, Abigail!

I hereby introduce you to… the Voted Most Likely Blogger tag!

RULES

Rule 1: The Doctor lies. Oops, sorry, that wasn’t it…

Real Rule 1: Thank the lovely blogger who tagged you. (Thanks again, Abigail! 😀 )

Rule 2: Include this link to the original tag (phoebeamorryce.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/voted-most-likely)

Rule 3: Use your own lovely Original Characters (OC’s); don’t use a friend’s characters or characters from your favorite fandom. They can be from any project, so long as you created them. For more fun, try to use as many different characters as possible.

Rule 4: Tag at least five lovely blogger friends to play along.

I’m gonna do my best to use characters from my published works and two main WIPs “The Night Archers” and “Imperfect” so hopefully y’all know who I’m talking about. 😉 This is gonna be so much fun!

Here goes…

Most Likely to Become a Poet

Gavynn from “The Night Archers”. While he seems really practical and put together on the outside, he has a hard backstory and some personal angst which pretty much spells poet material. And he does get downright poetic while describing a sunrise.

Most Likely to Dance in the Rain

Destiny!!! The amazing best friend from Kiera. She is a farmgirl princess, and you can bet that she would dressup and go dance in the rain. 😀

Most Likely to Look Good in a Kilt

I honestly don’t know… My artistic Kylee from “Imperfect” could probably pull it off in her own way. Knowing her, she’d probably pair it with a chunky gray sweater double braids.

Most Likely to Get Punched in the Face

It’s a tie between Kent (from Kiera) and Sir Larkin (from The Twin Arrows) for very different reasons. Kent, because, well… He gets pretty obnoxious during the kitchen scene. *shudders* And Sir Larkin because he would be protecting someone else. XD

Most Likely to Drop Everything and Become a Sheep Herder

Destiny, again. Seriously, would she not be the most capable, fashionable, and hilarious sheep herder ever? She already takes care of the family cows, anyway, so I think she’d be good at this.

Most Likely Found in a Library

Brennan is probably my most bookish character to date. I can just picture him getting lost in a library, leaning one elbow on a stack of books while devouring some fantastical but richly deep book.

Most Likely to Sleep Through an Earthquake

I feel like Aric (from Kiera) and Caelan (from “The Night Archers”) would both do this. Aric because he’s a teenager, and Caelan because he’s a teenager and suuuupppperrrr exhausted the entire book. #mypoorbaby

Most Likely to Steal Food from Other People’s Plates

Destiny. 😀 Nuff said.

Most Likely to Cheat on a Test

I don’t know, actually. If you have an idea of who, comment with it.

Most Likely to Say “Oops” After Setting Something on Fire

My dear Canary (from Enjoy the Poodle Skirt) seems most likely to be both klutzy and super calm about weird situations. Also, she works at a restaurant, so I feel like she’d have more opportunity to do this…

Most Likely to Open an Orphanage

Kiera and Brennan would soooo do this together and be adorable doing it. ❤

Most Likely to Run Off to the Circus

I’d say, Drewin (from The Twin Arrows), and not just because he runs away in his book. Even after his character arc, he still craves adventure, so I feel like he’d fit best with the circus.

Most Likely to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Sir Larkin, hands down. He’s got skills. 😀

Most Likely to Fake Their Own Death

Definitely Ian (from Kiera and my brother’s novel Crossroads). He’s got all the tech, contacts, and reasons to do this. *wants to write a short story now*

Most Likely to Die and Haunt Friends

Joss from “Imperfect”. I feel like if he were to die, his friends (and I) would be pretty heartbroken and be haunted by it happening. And he would definitely go out in a self-sacrificial way…

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And there you go! That was super fun (and a little hard) to answer! If you have alternate answers, I’d love to hear them in the comments. 😀

I tag:

Allison @Allison’s Well

Anna @A Storynerd’s Life

Rebekah @Read Another Page

Kellyn @Reveries

Malachi @Brainstorms with Rain

And anyone else who wants to give this a try! 😉

Book Review: The Case of The Cereal Robber

“I’m Mia.
I know how to write.
Why’s that a big deal?
Because… I’m a cat.”

When Keith is called upon to catch a pair of serial robbers breaking into nearby houses, he’s utterly stumped. Why would anyone break into houses, but not steal anything? Why would they eat a bowl of cereal while they’re at it? With Keith and the police just a text-message away, Mia decides to put her fantastic sneaking skills to use by staking out the neighborhood.

But there’s more to the crime than simple breaking-and-entering, and catching the serial cereal robbers might cost Mia everything…” (from Goodreads)

I’m so bad at keeping up on series, and this one is no exception. XD I let myself get two books behind, but last week I decided it was high time to catch up. (An accidental month of Kindle Unlimited does help, too. XD ) Man, I had forgotten how downright hilarious and accurate Mia is! Seriously. XD I especially loved how crazy she thought Keith was when he got wet in the rain AND took a shower afterward. Such a classic cat. I highlighted so many hilarious quotes. 😀

While this book didn’t have as complicated of a mystery as the others, it was definitely still mysterious as Mia’s past came back to haunt her. 😉 And the ending was super sad but also… weirdly hopeful? I loved all the rain too. 😀

Best quotes: There are two reasons cats act like that when people try to take them for walks: one, it’s too much like being a dog; and two, it wasn’t their idea. This is my idea, so I’ll be fine.

Your loud. I scribbled on my notepad. Then I blinked and shook my head. Yikes! I must have still been groggy. You’re, I corrected myself. 

Altogether, this was a very fun, short read. 😀 I’m definitely looking forward to more in the series!

And the Rewriting Continues!

I knocked out four chapters of rewriting last week! Thanks to them being “easy” chapters, some really YUMMY chocolate, and God providing time and concentration. 😉

Today I emailed sent a preliminary email to my beta-readers, started work with my cover designer (SQUEEE!), and knocked out another chapter. Just two more to go! 😀

In celebration, here’s an excerpt… (Have mercy on my unfinished-manuscript-ness, please.)

They shouldered their tools and wove through the streets toward home. Evening was falling like a cloak around them, but the sun still hung on just above the mountains. Footsteps sounded behind them as they reached the little house. Gavynn half-turned, closing both hands tightly around the handle of his shovel.

“Excuse me, lads. Would ya ‘appen to know where I can find a blacksmith or a marshall?” The man twisted his hands. “My horse lost a shoe jes outside of town.”

Caelan answered, “Yes, we do. In a way, I mean. He has to—”

“We don’t have one,” Gavynn cut him off.

“A town this size? With ‘orse stalls aplenty? Any apprentices, anythin’?” The man threw up his hands. “I ‘ave to be to Borron by tomorrow evening.”

“We’re his apprentices, sir,” Caelan said, daring Gavynn to interrupt him again. “Our skills should be enough to get you to Borron where you can find a master smith.”

“Much obliged to ya, boy. I’ll jes bring my ‘orse and wagon around up ‘ere in a few,” the stranger answered.

Gavynn turned on the boy as soon as the man had left. “Why did you tell him we were apprentices?” he hissed.

“I was apprenticed to my father, and now you’re apprenticed to me. I’ll walk you through.”

Gavynn muttered.

“He’s a peddler by the look of him, and he’ll have news,” Caelan added. “You’re stuck at home, and I miss my father. We could use a little news of the outside world.”

“Stuck is right, and now I’ve been apprenticed,” Gavynn grumbled, but he lit a few lanterns and helped set up a makeshift shoeing stock.

The night grew cold with the breeze of a coming storm. Caelan built a roaring fire and stamped around the yard, keeping an anxious eye out for the peddler. Gavynn sorted through the blacksmith’s tools that had survived the fire. They were smoke-blackened but intact. He glanced up to see Caelan and the peddler leading a worn, bony mare up to the shoeing stock.

Honestly, I think Caelan had a point here, because they get some really interesting, important news in this next scene, but I can’t blame Gavynn for being disgruntled by suddenly being an apprentice. XD

I hope you enjoyed, and I can’t wait to share the whole book with! 😉

Jack, and Other Pictures I’ve Promised

If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve probably seen me say, “Oh, I’ll have to share pictures of that sometime”.

Sometime has come.

O.o.

Meet our magnificent Christmas doggy, Jack. ❤ He’s a very jolly, smaller-sized (but still big when he thinks he’s a lapdog XD) Australian Shepherd. We’re not sure if he’s a thoroughbred or his exact age because he’s a rescue, but he’s fit into our lives so well and brought a lot of laughs and cuddles. He’s very well-mannered (except when we have food he wants 😛 ) and trainable.

I’ve been following an adorable Facebook/Twitter page called “Thoughts of Dog” and this one reminds me a lot of our doggy.

I’m so grateful for our delightful friend. Here’s another amazing picture…

The end of last year, I enjoyed Anomaly, the first book in a Christian dystopian trilogy. I bought the whole series at the same time, and I mentioned that all their spines together made a really cool chevron pattern. Someone commented asking to see what that looked like, so here you go!

I can highly recommend the first book, and I’ll let you all know what I think of the others when I muster enough bravery to read them. XD (Book two looks #anxious.)

This Valentines’ Day, my older sister Perry gifted me a stuffed hedgehog with a copy of one of her short stories in minibook format. Meet my bookhedgehog Oregano! ❤

He is the softest friend. 😀 Here’s another picture just because he looks so happy to be near books. 😉

There you go! Those are all the pictures I’ve promised (at least that I can remember). 😉 I hope you enjoyed! And have a great weekend. 😀

(All pictures taken with Paul’s amazing camera. Jack pictures taken by Paul, others taken by Anna. Thanks, cool people!)

Short Story Review: The Great Lab Escape

“What do you do when you discover you’re the first cat to learn to read?
You run!

Before Mia was the remarkable detective cat, she was a test subject at Caput Laboratories. When she begins to notice words jumping off the page, she’s determined not to spend the rest of her life in the lab.

Everything goes awry when her plan to intentionally fail her test backfires —badly. Can she make her escape with only her wits and her newfound reading skills? And will she make it in the big world outside the lab’s walls?

This is a short story prequel to The Kitten Files mystery series, and takes place several weeks before The Case of the Tabloid Tattler.” (from Goodreads)

I was gifted a minibook copy of this short story and read it one sitting while I was supposed to be cleaning my room. *grins sheepishly* It was quite enjoyable and a great origin story for Mia! Also, I enjoyed the descriptions of her learning to read since that’s about how it felt to me when I started reading. 😉

Recommended! But also, clean your room. 😉

My “Accidental” Kindle Unlimited (and How That Messes with Goals)

Back in August, I wrote a blog post called “I Want to Read Good Books Slowly” and the sentiment still rings true… Except…

I accidentally spent $10 on another month of Kindle Unlimited, and I’m trying to make it count. XD When I had the free trial, I could read a book here and there, but now that I bought it, I must CRAM.

Which means that I’ve been reading good books but not exactly slowly. 😉 XD

I’ve been using it to catch up on/finish series. So far I’ve read The Case of the Very Bad Cat by Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick (#4 in a series) and Fine Print by Chautona Havig (#3 in a series). It’s been so amazing to finally read these books, and I’m super happy that the authors are getting paid for every page I read. 😉

I took a break from KU cramming to read an ARC of this aaaammmmaazzzing book!! Hope Ann’s new novella Healer’s Bane is one of her best yet. I can’t wait for you all to read it. 😉

Next, I’m planning to read Dead Letter (the next book in the Chautona Havig series I’m stuck in right now), Legends by Denver Evans (final book in the trilogy!!! ❤ ), and Speak Your Mind by Allyson Kennedy.

It’s been quite a lot of fun checking out books I’ve either always wanted to read or been desperately waiting to be released. Though I am a bit behind on reviews now…

What have you been reading? 😀

Stories at War

There are three stories that have been fighting for my brain space this week (and I’ll let you guess which one won the most).

First, “The Story I Should Be Working On”, a.k.a. “The Night Archers”, sequel to The Twin Arrows. I researched lightning strikes, medieval terms for family members, and even *almost* named the third book instead of editing. I’ve been pretty intimidated by overhauling the first chapter, but I think it’s finally there (or at least closer), and I just rewrote chapter two today. Progress! 😀

Next, “The Story I Shouldn’t Be Working On Because It’s Prequel Isn’t Even Published and I Have Lots of Time Before I Need to Even Think About It”. (Phew, that’s a mouthful!) It involves some characters and situations I love very much, so I’ve been letting myself write a few random scenes from it. XD It even has a working title, but I should really stay away from it until I can sit down and actually plot the thing. Also, it has a companion book that appeared out of nowhere in my brain. *sighs, happily of course*

And finally, “The Book That Is So Delightfully Distracting and Makes Me Want to Read the Next Book Pronto But I Should Do Things”, a.k.a. Fine Print by Chautona Havig. It was a delightful mystery (book three in the series!), and I just love these characters, their situations, and the very relevant spiritual conversations, y’all.

What stories have filled (or taken over) your week?

Book Review: Annie’s Life in Lists

“If you love kids like:
1. Anatastia Krupnik
2. Ramona Quimby
3. The Penderwicks
then you will love Annie! For Annie, lists are how she keeps her whole life in order. And there is a lot to keep track of!

Annie’s a shy fifth grader with an incredible memory and a love of making lists. It helps her keep track of things when they can seem a little out of control, like her family, her friends, and her life in a new place.

Annie has:
1. An incredible memory (really, it’s almost photographic) that can get her in trouble
2. A desire to overcome her shyness
3. A brother who is mad at her because he thinks she is the reason they had to move to Clover Gap, population 8,432.
4. A best friend who she is (almost) certain will always be her best friend.
5. New classmates, some of whom are nicer than others.
6. A rocky start finding her place in her new home. 

Annie’s Life in Lists introduces a sweet new voice that finds that even amid the chaos of everyday life, it’s important to put things in order.” (from Goodreads)

Just to be nerdy (and because my brain will work better this way in spite of my head cold), I’m gonna review this amazing book with a few lists of my own. 😉

4 Reasons I Picked Up Annie’s Life in Lists
1. I love lists.
2. The doodles are adorable. 
3. The highly unusual format had me intrigued. (The whole book is literally written in lists. 😀 )
4. It promised to be a sweet contemporary middle-grade book, which I’m always down for. 😉

4 Reasons I Loved This Book
1. It delivered on all of the above.
2. Annie was such a real and relatable character. 😀
3. Lots of great themes of loving your family and navigating friendships.
4. Lists. 😀 Which could be somewhat disorienting, but I still liked it a lot.

4 Ways Annie Was So Real
1. She had things she liked and disliked about herself, without thinking about her appearance too much. 
2. She was just trying to make friends… “Turns out my fear of not making friends is stronger than my fear of haunted houses.” Same. XD
3. She argued with her brother and miscommunicated with her parents but she loved them dearly. 
4. She and her friends did really ordinary but special things for fun. Like snowball fights, volunteering at the the library, and memorizing old songs.

4 Reasons Annie Was So Relatable
1. She remembered random facts about people and had to withhold them so she wouldn’t freak people out. GIRL, I have this malady too. 
2. She blamed herself for things.
3. She was quiet, but not shy. 
4. This is just to make this list the right length. 😛 Are we sure Annie and I aren’t the same person??
5. Oops. Well, anyway, she hates gym. 

4 Side Characters That Were Actually Really Awesome
1. Zora. Such a queen. 
2. Ted. Quintessential bro.
3. Kate, the bookworm who always hums. 
4. Millie, the “old friend”. 

4 Funny Things
1. The “Great Hole” incident and her aunt’s reaction. 😛 Also, their brothers were such sweet goofs.
2. Dad’s country life escapades. (Yes, you are supposed to wave at everyone who waves at you.)
3. The list of ways she annoys Ted. Very important. 
4. That one “list” that was pretty much a trick. You’ll see.

3 Heartwarming Moments
1. When the truth comes out.
2. Walkie-talkies. ❤
3. The ending. 😀

4 Slightly Iffy Things
1. There was racism portrayed, and while it is treated as wrong and unthinkable, I’d suggest a discussion with younger readers.
2. Annie accidentally stabbed herself with her pencil. A little gross and also came off as kinda cool which may not be a good message.
3. Annie had an embarrassing moment where SPOILER ALERT! clean underwear flew out of the leg of her pants straight at a boy during a game at school.
4. A message of this book is speaking up, but I was a little uneasy when it came off as if speaking up makes it okay to tear others down in the process. Annie “apologized” to someone in such a way that called them out in front of everyone. I would have loved a little more gentleness. 

1 Content Advisory
1. A side character says there will be “h*** to pay” and another child says “heck”. 

Altogether, I very much enjoyed this book, and I will be keeping an eye on this author to see what she does next. 😀

Superbooks and My Little Heroes

I leaned against the desk of the children’s library and asked my question. “Hi. I was wondering if you had any superhero picture books?”

Fingers poised over the keyboard of her computer, the librarian turned to ask, “What do you mean by picture books? Like an early reader or something else?”

I shrugged. “Basically anything you’d read aloud to a four-year-old. I brought home a book called The Three Little Superpigs, and he’s had it read to him six times now.” I grinned. “And I’d really like something new to read to him.”

And thus began our quest; two librarians and I searching through the shelves of Early Readers to find something the little boys might enjoy. They handed me a large stack of DC and Marvel books as well as a few about a mishap-prone ninja (close enough, right?), and I sat down to look through them.

The ninja books ended up coming home with me (along with two other interesting looking picture books), and I read them aloud to a stack of four funny little boys on our next visit.

They haven’t even seen any superhero movies yet, but they love superheroes so much, they’ve even been making up their own. XD

I love it that they’re learning at a young age to recognize that heroes are those who fight evil and help others, and already I know that by following our ultimate Hero, they’ll become heroes who love others and stand up for truth themselves.

And I’m grateful I get to be a part of their lives by being one of their nine aunties. ❤

Guest Review: Crossroads (Collab with Lilian, Part 2)

As promised, we’re back with our reviews! Today, I’m reviewing The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson over on Lilian’s blog, and she’s reviewing Crossroads by Paul Willis on mine. 😀 Let’s jump in!

“Lethal persecution. Haunting decisions. Death just a whisper away.

Jack grew up concealing his faith, but now the persecution of Christians has turned lethal. After inadvertently putting his family in danger, Jack becomes aware of a covert agency dedicated to protecting Christians. The agency takes his mother and sister to safety and offers him a position as an emergency medic within their ranks.

Caring for the injured allows Jack to help their cause without violating his pacifistic beliefs, but he stands at odds with tough resistance fighter Britain. Grueling firefights, severe losses, and desperate choices test their beliefs as each of them seeks to save lives no matter the cost. But what is that cost?” (from Goodreads)

Lilian’s Review

Well, well. This is a dystopian book unlike anything I’ve read before. I count dystopian as one of my favorite genres, but I don’t read many and when I do, I tend to have really high expectations. And… honestly, I’m not sure what to think of this one!

It didn’t quite meet my expectations (let’s face it – when you’ve heard this much about a book, you have, well, very high expectations) but at the same time it was so interesting and intriguing and very engaging and wow?? Seriously, I’m pretty impressed. 

I feel like there wasn’t much of a plot and I normally don’t like it when that happens but I didn’t notice it much at all when reading? It was mostly a lot of action but no noticeable reason behind the action (which is why I say there wasn’t much of a plot). The action / fight scenes were really well written for the most part – Paul’s writing style really fits those types of scenes. However, this did contribute to the overall choppy and not very well-flowing-ness? of most of the sentences of the story. The sentences were mostly simple sentences that were short and just didn’t have much variety, which made the book a bit of a rough read (not to mention it also made the plot twists a bit too abrupt).

My main issue about this book was the realisticness of everything. I hate to say it.. but I just. ugh. every couple of pages I would stop and think “No one would say that”, or “No one would think that while fighting”. Here’s an example (backstory: Jack received a message from the Lynx, which is an artificial intelligence unit thing): It was from the Lynx. “Sorry, I forgot during the commotion. I amplified and analyzed the voice sample you sent”, and I remember thinking “what…? AI units don’t forget things in our world. This is dystopian genre, which means their AI units would be even more advanced. So why would the Lynx forget something?” Maybe something just isn’t quite adding up for me so that might be why I’m not getting it? Just small things like that which probably wouldn’t bother most people, but they really stuck out to me and kind of annoyed me.

There were things that I really, really, really loved in Crossroads though. I absolutely loved the whole theme of Christian persecution + pacifism + evangelism and how Jack and CROS dealt with it. It honestly really inspired and encouraged me, and I would recommend reading this book for that alone. Jack’s personal beliefs and convictions changed and matured as the storyline moved along, and I’m really happy with how his beliefs turned out. 🙂 

Overall, I liked this book! Didn’t love it – didn’t hate it – just liked it. I think Crossroads is a book worth reading for the Christian themes in it, but I personally found some of it hard to follow and quite a bit of it very unrealistic. It might just be me though because literally like 99% of my friends who have read it has rated it five stars. xD I’m going to rate it 3 stars, which I’m a bit disappointed by because so many people have raved about it and I honestly expected it to be a 5 star read. OH WELL THOUGH. Guys, I ramble too much, and I’m sorry. xP 

Thank you so, so much to everyone who voted for Crossroads! I absolutely don’t (at all) regret reading it, and I’m glad I did. Thanks to Kate for collaborating with me and don’t forget to check out her review for The Girl Who Could See, which is on my blog! 😀

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That’s all, folks! Thanks so much for voting on what we should read, and I hope you enjoyed seeing our reviews of the books. 😉 I had a lot of fun collaborating with Lilian, and I’m so glad she came up with this idea! 😀